How to Use Google Analytics with SharePoint 2010

(c) Sean Bordner

(c) Sean Bordner

Google Analytics (GA) is cool.  It’s robust enough for the major analytic components and you just can’t beat the value – mainly because it FREE!  GA is a web analytics package provided free by Google.  You sign up, plug some JavaScript into your site (provided to you during the sign up process) and off you go to the next corporate meeting with the long needed proof to open that office in Hawaii!  
 
GA wires up to SharePoint 2010 tightly.  Thanks to the way SharePoint 2010 uses master pages, it’s a breeze to hook it up (almost).  I’m using GA for multiple sites, some are SharePoint 2010 WCM sites and some are not.  As you know, SharePoint already has some built in usage analysis capabilities and they are pretty good, 2010 is way better than 2007.  GA extends these capabilities and provides a more common interface and set of tools for slicing your web site usage data.

GA can be wired up to SharePoint 2010 by pasting the JavaScript code (provided to you by Google during the setup process) into the master page file somewhere within the HTML body tags.  The trick is back at the Google site you just signed up for…  You need to activate your new site after you paste the JavaScript into your master page.  To activate your new site, you need to provide the URL.  Here’s the “gotcha” part:  If you are using a publishing site (and you likely are if you are wanting to wire GA to it), then you need to provide the “/pages/default.aspx” part of your URL after the domain name.  For example; if your domain is http://www.mydomain.com you would enter http://www.mydomain.com/pages/default.aspx.  This is because Google won’t like the fact that it’s getting redirected to /pages/default.aspx and will bail if you don’t provide that part.
 
GA is not the most robust analytics package out there, but it’s a great place to start if you’re not already using a web analytics package.  It will show you all the main things you need to know, and in time as you’re usage becomes more sophisticated, you will at least know what you need in your next package (the one that is NOT free)!

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About Sean Bordner

CEO, Solution Architect, Co-Author of SharePoint for Nonprofits, Contributing Author NothingButSharePoint.com MCT, MCTS, MCSD, MCP, MCAD
This entry was posted in Analytics, CMS, Content Management, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, SharePoint, WCM. Bookmark the permalink.

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